“The Joy Luck Club” and “The People vs. Larry Flynt” producer Janet Yang is set to lead the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the governing body behind the Oscars. A press release announced she has been elected president by the Academy’s Board of Governors. And she’s making history with her new role: according to Variety, Yang, who is of Chinese descent, is the first Asian person to hold the position.
Yang is also the fourth woman to serve as AMPAS president. She’s following in the footsteps of Bette Davis (two months in 1941), Fay Kanin (1979-1983), and Cheryl Boone Isaacs (2013-2017).
Yang is set to begin her second term as Governor-at-Large as well. She has been a member of AMPAS’ Producers Branch since 2002, and has served on the Board’s Membership Committee and Membership and Governance Committee. She is the co-chair of the Academy’s Asian Affinity Group.
“Janet is a tremendously dedicated and strategic leader who has an incredible record of service at the Academy. She has been instrumental in launching and elevating several Academy initiatives on membership recruitment, governance, and equity, diversity, and inclusion,” said Academy CEO Bill Kramer. “I am thrilled that she is taking on the esteemed role of Academy President and look forward to working closely with her on our shared vision to serve our membership, celebrate the collaborative arts and sciences of motion pictures, and inspire the next generation of filmmakers.”
The Oscar-nominated animated film “Over the Moon,” “Dark Matter,” and “High Crimes” are among Yang’s producing credits. She won an Outstanding Made for Television Movie Emmy for “Indictment: The McMartin Trial,” which she executive produced.
In other Board of Governors election news, producer Donna Gigliotti (Vice President/Secretary; chair, Governance Committee) and costume designer Isis Mussenden (Vice President; chair, Museum Committee) were both re-elected to their offices. New officers include sound professional Teri E. Dorman (Vice President; chair, Membership Committee), producer Lynette Howell Taylor (Vice President; chair, Awards Committee), and casting director and producer Kim Taylor-Coleman (Vice President; chair, Equity and Inclusion Committee).